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PhD candidate Charlene Houston’s documentary screened in the Hague.

Charlene Houston’s documentary, titled Defying Gravity: The Johaar Mosaval Story is being well received internationally. Having screened in 4 countries, in March 2024 it screened in a 5th country as one of 4 selected South African films at the Movies that Matter Film Festival in The Hague, Netherlands.

Charlene is supervised by Professor June Bam-Hutchison at CERT. Her research focuses on museums in South Africa as sites of public pedagogy.

Workshop at the Makerere University, Uganda

Professor Morgan Nkululeko Ndlovu who recently joined the Center for Education Rights and Transformation (CERT) in Faculty of Education facilitated a two-day workshop on ‘Theorizing Identities: Being and becoming African in Context’ organized by African Research Universities Association’s (ARUA) Centre of Excellence (CoE) at Makerere University, Uganda that took place on the 27th of February 2024 and 1 March 2024. The workshop whose focus was on making sense of African identities from a decolonial and Afrocentric perspectives was attended by doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and early career researchers from more than 8 universities. Prof. Ndlovu is an International Advisory Board member for the ARUA Center of Excellence on Notions of Identities in Africa based at Makerere University.

Prof Mondli Hlatshwayo appointed as a member of Ministerial Task Team

Prof Mondli Hlatshwayo was appointed as a member of Ministerial Task Team to develop a comprehensive implementation plan in response to the outcomes of the Community Education and Training skills summit 2022 in October 2023. The task team’s role is to redesign and repurpose the entire Community Education and Training Sector so that it is able to respond to the demands for skills and community education. The skills design is not just about skills for business but also skills for building working-class and poor communities. One of the key task of the task team is to map CET programmes that move away from the existing programmes dominated by academic qualifications and course (97%) to a programme mix of academic, skills and community education programme. As the task team was about to conclude its work last year, Professor Peliwe Lolwana, the chairperson of the task team, took her last breath on 17 December 2023. As a task team member I was privileged to work with her and she automatically became my mentor. Perhaps transforming the CET sector and community colleges in particular would be the best way to remember the late Professor. The report of the task team will be presented to Minister of Education and Training, Doctor Blade Nzimande, who will then process it.

CERT PhD candidate Charlene Houston’s documentary Defying Gravity: the Johaar Mosaval Story earns Honourable Mention on World Stage

Well known Cape Flats Anti-Apartheid civic activist Charlene Houston produced and directed the documentary Defying Gravity: the Johaar Mosaval Story. The documentary was selected for the New York Independent Film Festival in September 2023, where Charlene’s work received ‘Honourable Mention’. Also selected for the South Africa – Tanzania and Egypt Cultural Seasons, Houston’s documentary sensitively narrates the journey in the reflective words of Mosaval (who passed away recently at the age of 95). Johaar was the first black person to become a senior principal dancer on the world stage during Apartheid. The story recounts the painful experiences of the late Mosaval surviving the wrath of racism as a world renowned ballet dancer, navigating also a stereotyped Cape ‘Malay’ identity.  Warmest congratulations, Charlene! See:

Charlene presently studies in the field of heritage in Africa as site of public pedagogy under the research supervision of Professor June Bam-Hutchison at CERT.

Dr Julie Reddy appointed Professor of Practice at CERT

We are pleased to welcome Dr Julie Reddy as part of the growing CERT family. As the former CEO of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) for South Africa, she brings a wealth of experience in education accreditation to CERT. She holds skills and expertise relevant to the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and the development of Short Learning Programmes (RPLs). Dr Reddy earned her PhD from Cornell University in the USA. Prior to that, she served in senior management and leadership positions for over 30 years in the international and South African education, skills development and civil society sectors. Since January 2023, she has been appointed by the Technological Higher Education Network South Africa (THENSA), as an education, training and development associate on various higher education related projects. In 2022, the Minister of Basic Education appointed her as Deputy Chair of the South African National Commission to UNESCO. Internationally, she has participated/worked on various UNESCO and other global initiatives. Currently, she is a UNESCO/UIL International Juror for its Lifelong Learning Cities Award and a Director on the Board of the Groningen Declaration Network  Her appointment to the World Education Services Board of Trustees commenced in 2023

Internationally renowned Composer, Poet and Educator of the Arts – Eugene Skeef – appointed Professor of Practice at CERT

Eugene Skeef has been appointed Professor of Practice at CERT. With the late Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko, he co-led a literacy campaign in schools, colleges and communities in the African townships during the height of Apartheid. He was forced into exile in London in 1980, following Biko’s tragic death in 1977 at the hands of the brutal Apartheid regime. Eugene’s interdisciplinary work in peace education has since been celebrated internationally by diverse communities and educators across the globe, including in Bosnia. He has been mentor for accomplished South African jazz musicians like Bheki Mseleku and others, and is also a close collaborator with jazz legend Khaya Mahlangu who participated in a ‘deep listening’ convocation with youth from Soweto and scholars at CERT during Africa Month in May 2023. The path-breaking Africa Month event was facilitated and curated by the legendary jazz radio presenter and promoter, Brenda Sisani, an interdisciplinary research collaborator with CERT. Eugene has worked with schools, community colleges, universities and cultural organisations over decades. He has been a composer for the London Philharmonic Orchestra amongst his various prestigious appointments in Arts and Culture. Earlier this year, he was hosted by the Swedish Embassy and the national Department of Sports, Arts and Culture as one of South Africa’s celebrated legends in the Arts – renowned particularly for his mentorship of accomplished young black South African artists. Skeef, known for his artistic and spiritual water drum rituals, has been selected as the featured poet for the 27th Edition of the Poetry Africa Festival this year – a collaboration with the Arts & Culture Centre,  University of Johannesburg. Whilst at CERT, Eugene will be hosting (amongst others) a Masterclass in Childhood Education at the Soweto campus.

Newly appointed director for the Centre for Education Rights & Transformation (CERT) – 2023

Director For The Centre For Education Rights & Transformation (cert)

Professor June Bam is a professionally qualified teacher and holds a PhD in Sociology and History Education. With many years experience in higher education transformation in South Africa and globally, she has led on decolonial international research projects that involved a large number of universities worldwide with a focus on feminist indigenous knowledge production and Freirean methodological approaches to understanding ‘archive’. June has held senior departmental head positions for the Department of African Studies, and in setting up the new African Studies and Linguistics Department at the University of Cape Town. She was appointed Associate Professor in African Feminist Studies at UCT in 2022. June is also the founding director of the first San and Khoi Research Centre at UCT where she introduced certificated indigenous language courses for close to 200 unemployed youth and community members. Her other positions in higher education included as Honorary Secretary for the African Studies Association (UK), and as Research Associate at the Public Understanding of the Past, University of York (UK), and Visiting Fellow in Museums and Human Rights at Kingston University (UK). She has taught at a number of universities, including as visiting professor and director from 2014-2020 for the ‘Sites of Memory’ course for Stanford University’s Overseas Programme. June is a qualified school teacher, and has trained many teachers at UCT and at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). She has taught hundreds of high school children on the Cape Flats, taught adult night school in the 1980s, and graduated hundreds of university students. She served as history education advisor in the Education Ministry between 2000 and 2004, and as director of the South African History Project which involved curriculum development in the social sciences. She has published widely for teachers, learners, teacher trainers, scholars and also the general public. She has worked with diverse marginalised communities in knowledge partnership processes including at universities and museums in South Africa and within the African Diaspora.